Junta de Andalucia commits to tackling Almeria’s water problem

WATER WOES: Cuevas del Almanzora reservoir. File photograph.

THE President of Andalucia, Susan Diaz, has committed her government to the irrigators of Almería in a bid to tackle the province’s ongoing water problem.

The President met with representatives of the Water Table forum comprised of representatives of state and private water producers and consumers. Diaz pledged that the Andalucian government would streamline pending administrative concessions to alleviate the water shortage and continue to monitor the situation.

The water deficit, which stands at 179 cubic hectometres, is of growing concern to irrigators. The meeting held in San Telmo included demands made to the government for more help from the central government to accelerate improvements to existing infrastructures.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Rodrigo Sánchez Haro, pointed out after the meeting that the works put in place from the Junta de Andalucia can contribute three hectometres, but warned that most of the outstanding work is under the purview of the central government in Madrid.

These include the treatment plants of Adra, El Ejido and Roquetas, and desalination facilities like Villaricos in Cuevas del Almanzora which have been in disuse since 2012. These interventions, according to the minister, would contribute “around 100 cubic hectometres, an amount that would increase to 150 if current facilities are placed at 100 percent of their capacity and alleviate the water deficit in Almeria.”

The spokesman for the Water Board of Almeria, José Antonio Fernández, has, however, said he appreciates the commitment of the Junta de Andalucia.